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Blenders Pride Fashion Tour ‘The Showcase’ powered by FDCI, is all about generation next

In its second season, the talent hunt is scouting tomorrow’s stars in four categories — fashion designers, shutterbugs, models and content creators
Representational image

Saionee Chakraborty   |   Published 21.09.21, 05:20 AM

An eye on the future. That’s the motto of Blenders Pride Fashion Tour ‘The Showcase’, powered by FDCI. In it’s second season, the talent hunt is scouting tomorrow’s stars in four categories — fashion designers, shutterbugs, models and content creators. We caught up with a few on the jury to know more.

Shaleena Nathani, stylist


What is your top tip for all aspiring stylists?

I just feel like you must work hard every single day. I think you must give your best. Stay passionate, keep learning and unlearning, try reinventing, try doing new things and work with different people. I feel in every industry, there’s so many people doing the same thing, so you need to do something that separates you from the crowd. And I think hard work and sincerity always pays off.

What are you looking for in ‘The Showcase’ winner?

I am looking for an individual with not only a unique design aesthetic but also someone who is driven by passion and understands the elements of creating diverse looks. Someone with a wide lens of what is in trend and understands that every individual has a unique sense of style that needs to be taken into consideration. Through the partnership with Blenders Pride Fashion Tour ‘The Showcase’, I want to support the disruptors, who will dare to break the norms and create looks that are unconventional and bold.

What is the golden tip to win the trust of a celebrity client?

I think the one thing I keep in mind when styling is that whoever I am working with is the most important person at that point in time and at that shoot and I want everything to be perfect. I want them to be happy and feel good about how and what they’re wearing. You have to keep each individual person’s likes and dislikes and comfort zones in mind because everybody is different.

We all love Deepika Padukone. Having worked with her so closely, what do you think makes her such a style cheetah?

Deepika carries everything off with such ease when she’s working or travelling. I think the best part about her is that we don’t have any dos and don’ts. She’s very open to trying different things and I think that’s what makes my job so amazing when I style her.

Rahul Jhangiani, photographer

Who do you see as ‘The Showcase’ topper?

I am thrilled to be a part of Blenders Pride Fashion Tour ‘The Showcase’ powered by FDCI. As a jury member, I would want the winner to have the ability to capture beyond what the naked eye can see and understand that the camera is the extended eye, and it opens up your mind to things you are not able to see. I want the young shutterbugs to understand the depth of a photograph and how it narrates a story. Keeping all this in mind, the winner should also be able to translate the identity of the person behind the lens in the photograph. A photograph should always echo the personality and aura of the subject or the individual.

What camera do you use now?

Canon 5DSR.

What was your first camera?

Canon 550d.

What makes for a great picture?

While getting the technicalities such as angles and lighting are essential, a great picture expands beyond the basics. Staying true to your style, adapting your vision and being able to visualise the narrative of the story is very important. A great picture must have a clear thought and authenticity. 

Your dream personality to photograph would be....

It would have to be Princess Diana. She is a timeless muse. Her style, personality, eyes and overall simplicity would have been a dream to


Neha Sharma, actor

Are you a strict judge or a lenient one?

I want to see passion in the contestants and a desire to be the best version of themselves. So, I do want to push them towards being the best they can be without being too strict.

What are you looking for in ‘The Showcase’ winner?

I am looking for individuals with the right attitude and confidence, that’s the most important thing when you need to seize the stage. I would like them to have a certain aura of conviction and flair and at the same time a sense of humility. The contestants should be driven by passion and fire to overcome every obstacle that will come their way. The fashion industry isn’t a cakewalk and we want the future designers, models, shutterbugs and content creators to follow their dream and collectively redefine the future of fashion.

Through the partnership with Blenders Pride Fashion Tour ‘The Showcase’, I want to support the path-breakers who will dare to break the stereotypes and stand out for their boldness.

What has been your biggest learning from your career?

Don’t let failures bog you down and don’t let success get the better of you.

What is a golden tip to stay put in a career like yours?

Believe in your talent and your dreams. Only you know your true potential. That’s the mantra that has kept me going.

Who were your mentors in films?

There are people whose work I look up to and that inspires me to be better. Directors like David Fincher, Mani Ratnam, Anurag Kashyap and performances like of Marion Cotillard in La Vie en Rose are what excite me and inspire me.

Gaurav Gupta, fashion designer

What are you looking for in the next-gen Indian designers?

Blenders Pride Fashion Tour has unveiled the second edition of The Showcase in collaboration with Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI), with the objective of nurturing talent. I have had a long-standing association with Blenders Pride Fashion Tour, and The Showcase is an important step forward to nurture the fashion talent of the future.

I am excited to come on board as a jury member. I am expecting the next-gen designers to be proud of who they are, be original, to be able to express themselves and be inquisitive. I am expecting their individuality, passion and curiosity to show through their craft. I am looking for an individual who will echo the vision for the platform and help us redefine the future of the fashion industry.

What were your learnings from your seniors?

I think the biggest learning is that the hard work, dedication and sticking to your guns is the best formula. You know, when I worked with Hussein Chalayan in London, what I really learnt there was how true he was to his process and that was very inspiring for me and I think it’s a matter that we all learn from each other, it is a constant process now. We constantly keep learning from our seniors and juniors. It is not a matter of age any more; it is a matter of who is doing the cooler stuff.

Given how much fashion has changed, what is your top tip for all those starting out now?

Fashion now is a celebration of one’s personality and choices. It transcends beyond beautiful couture to finding inspiration in one’s personality and identity. It is about creating a new culture, a new thinking — whether it is through our design, forms or shape. For all those who are starting out, it’s all about breaking the stereotypes, being sure of who you are, and expressing the same through your work, all of which is also an intrinsic part of Blenders Pride Fashion Tour ‘The Showcase’.

A student of fashion must be...

A student of fashion must be sure of their identity and individuality, which should translate into their work. They should be ready to take risks, go beyond the known and break stereotypes to create their own world. With the fashion industry ever evolving, the students should have lens on cultural changes and have the ability to adapt and learn and unlearn.

Apart from this, one should always have a plan or even a business plan. The second thing is to work out your strengths, find your own unique selling point and always aim for quality.

One international young talent, who made you go ‘wow’...

I think Craig Green.

I don’t think he is that young but he is super cool.

Sunil Sethi, president, FDCI

The contest is not just about the talent of the individual or the team but also how they are keeping the main theme in mind, which is ‘My Planet, My Pride’. So, reuse and repurpose is what it is all about. It was mostly virtual. Each team was given a budget within which they had to work. Designer garments were sent to each team, which they had to interpret according to the theme. 

There is so much talent available but the board of FDCI was happy to choose these 10 teams. For FDCI the difficult part is over and the fun begins. Everybody’s film (under five minutes) is ready. May the best team win.

What inspires me the most is I still have the same hunger of excitedly waiting to judge them. I saw a lot of maturity in the questions they asked.... It did not surprise me that nobody wanted to question the theme.   

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